We are saddened by the passing of Norbert Reilander, the son of Barbara Mangel and Valentine Reilander. He was one of 10 children, predeceased by Mary, Bernadette, Angela, Louis, Valerian, Hubert, Vera, Clarence and James (at birth). Norbert was also predeceased by his beloved wife Mirella of almost 65 years. Loving and much loved father of Bernard (and Patricia), Mark (and late Joyce; Carol), Teresa (Madonna House Apostolate), Robert (and Joanne), 9 grand-children and 8 great-grand-children.
Born and raised in Regina, he attended Campion College before enrolling in the Canadian Army on 6 Sept 1939, 3 days before the declaration of war. He began an outstanding military career as a Lance Bombardier for the 113th Field Battery in Regina. He rose through the ranks quickly and was commissioned from the ranks in 1941, a member of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery stationed in the United Kingdom. After tours as an instructor and staff officer in the UK and then Canada, he saw action as a Captain with #1 Field Regiment in the campaign for the liberation of Italy. Seriously wounded in combat in Dec 1943, he was blessed with a full recovery. Returning to the UK, he trained as an Army pilot on the Air Observation Post Course. He served with the 664 Air OP Sqn before being promoted to Major, and was given command of 665 Air OP Squadron. He continued to serve in North West Europe with the occupation forces after VE Day. In Oct 1946, he was posted to Camp Shilo, Manitoba to the Royal Canadian School of Artillery. In Sept 1947, he was the first to command 444 Air OP Sqn in Rivers Manitoba. In the early 1950’s, he attended Army Staff College in Camberly, U.K., and then became an instructor at the School of Land/Air Warfare in Old Sarum, U.K. He next commanded the Light Aircraft School in Rivers, and was a flying instructor before attending Senior Officers School in the U.K. Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, he was granted command of 1st Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Winnipeg and oversaw the deployment of the unit to Germany. From 1959-62, he taught at the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston. After next attending the NATO Defense College in Paris in 1962, he became a staff officer at SHAPE Headquarters, Paris. Promoted to Colonel in Aug 1965, he was appointed Base Commander of CFB Petawawa, Ontario. In 1969, he was posted to Winnipeg as Deputy Chief of Staff at Training Command Headquarters. and retired from military service in November 1973. Two years later, he went to work for the Provincial Government of Manitoba with Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) and retired again in 1984.
Norbert was a deeply devout Catholic with a profound dedication to his faith and a special interest in Church liturgy. Particularly active in parish work in Winnipeg, he served at the Assiniboia Christian Centre as well as on the Blessed John the XXIII Parish Council. He was a member of the Senior Parish Choir and was involved in countless parish activities. A most generous and caring individual, he was also a great supporter of many charities.
In addition to being an avid reader, Norbert was an accomplished athlete who initially excelled in hockey, basketball and baseball, but later found his true niche in golf. He helped to build the base golf courses in both Camp Shilo and Rivers, Manitoba, en route to becoming very proficient at the game. He won the Base Championship at CFB Petawawa.
Following the 2011 death of his wife, Norbert moved to Ottawa to be near his children. He will be dearly missed by his family, his parish and his community, until we are reunited with him in Heaven.
Friends and family may pay respects at the
Kelly Funeral Home- Carling Chapel
2313 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K2B 7G3
on Friday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Funeral Friday at Our Lady of Fatima Church for Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. A private interment will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the charity of your choice would be appreciated. Norbert was fond of Madonna House Apostolate and “Development and Peace”.